PoliceOne Staff Report
(ORLANDO, Fla.) - An Orlando Police Department sharpshooter has been cleared of wrongdoing in the mistaken fatal shooting of a hostage during a three-day standoff in July.
The State Attorney's Office announced that Officer Christopher J. Savard was aiming for the hostage-taker when he, instead, fatally shot the hostage, according to the Associated Press.
According to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement ("FDLE") report released Dec. 9, there were different accounts of officers at the standoff which may have contributed to the July 23 shooting of Andrea Hall.
Hall, her niece and three children were taken hostage when Jamie Dean Petron, 41, barged into a home and too the five hostage. Petron, a convicted felon who was sought in a convenience store killing, killed himself after 51 hours.
Petron, in the second day of the standoff, told authorities that police had shot someone but refused to let officers provide any aid to the victim and Hall died, several hours before Petron turned the gun on himself.
When the police sharpshooter fired he shot a person with a towel on the head who be assumed was the hostage-taker. The SWAT sniper who has been on leave since the incident was expected to return to work last week.
The FDLE report hinted that Orlando SWAT officers may not have been informed by Orange County sheriff's officers that the hostage would be picking up food that was being left for that day, according to the Associated Press.
Orlando Police Chief Jerry Demings told the AP that the matter was closed.
The victim's husband, Karl Hall, has met with attorneys to discuss filing a wrongful death lawsuit, according to the wire service.